Happy Thoughts

(2011 – )
Owned by Caroline Moran
Inducted: 2022


2011 Hanoverian gelding Happy Thoughts was imported into the United States as a 6-year-old and had a successful career in the hunter arena before becoming a member of the team at Thorncroft Equestrian Center. He was originally purchased by David Lubben for rider Havens Schatt. Later that same year, Caroline Moran assumed ownership and Schatt remained in the irons.

Schatt guided "Bob" from his early career in the pre-green hunter division to his victories at the United States Hunter Jumper Association National Derby and Winter Equestrian Festival, as well as multiple top ten placings. Prior to retiring from competition, Bob served as an EQUUS Foundation Equine Ambassador, helping to promote awareness and end the abuse, neglect and slaughter of America's horses.

Upon his retirement, Bob joined Thorncroft Equestrian Center. The transition was a seamless one.

"When he retired from his hunter career, he was still sound and fairly young," said Moran. "I thought immediately of testing him out at Thorncroft for their therapeutic riding program. He passed every test, fits in their program perfectly and has become a fan favorite at the farm."

At Thorncroft, Bob works in both the recreational and therapeutic riding programs and participates in equine assisted services. His background as a highly successful show horse brings a unique experience to the participants there.

"Bob is so impeccably well-schooled and trained from his time being shown," shared Mikaela Potrako, who works with Bob at Thorncroft. "He gives riders a sense of accomplishment because he has all of these skills, and when they realize that they are on a horse that has competed at the level that Bob has, they feel like they are just as capable as any other rider, whether they have a diagnosis or not."

Bob's natural inclination toward patience and his even-keeled temperament have allowed him to work with riders of all different abilities. From beginners who are learning to trot to adults who are looking to hone their skills, Bob excels at teaching them all.

Potrako said that in addition to his other endearing qualities, Bob is a bit of a class clown.

"If there are items to explore, blankets to pull off racks or pockets to search for treats, you can bet Bob will [find] them. Bob's playful and kind personality has brought many smiles to our Thorncroft family and puts even the most anxious rider at ease," she said.

Although he is a relatively new addition at Thorncroft, Bob has quickly become an integral part of the team.

"Bob joined our program in May 2021 and, after a prolific career as an EQUUS Foundation Ambassador in the competitive hunter arena, he was quick to embrace his next chapter," Potrako said. "From Ambassador to daily teacher at Thorncroft, Bob showcases the versatility of our equine partners as well as the importance of a committed network of humans."